For Immediate Release
Posted: February 08, 2024


Public Information Office
(603) 271-5602 |

NHDOC Statement Following the Arrest of Former Employee Matthew Millar

CONCORD, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Corrections issues the following statement after the NH Department of Justice announcement that former officer Matthew Millar was arrested on murder charges related to the death of Jason Rothe, a patient at the Department’s Secure Psychiatric Unit:

On April 29th, 2023, Mr. Rothe, a patient of the New Hampshire Department of Correction’s Secure Psychiatric Unit died after a physical altercation with corrections officers. The Department immediately took action to support a full and independent investigation by the NH Department of Justice and the NH State Police Major Crime Unit. The NHDOC placed all officers involved in the use of force on administrative leave.

Below is a summary of the actions the Department has taken:

  • NHDOC immediately notified the Attorney General’s Office and the NH State Police Major Crime Unit.
  • Commissioner Hanks directed department leadership to immediately respond to the facility following the incident to assess the facility and to direct immediate action.
  • Commissioner Hanks directed an administrative review, separate from the investigation by the Department of Justice and State Police, which resulted in swift administrative action.
  • The officers involved in the use of force were placed on administrative leave.
  • Following the completion of the Department’s administrative review, the officers were returned to full duty based on information available to the department at that time. Based on new information made available to the department today, Commissioner Hanks has directed another administrative review and placed the officers on administrative leave.
  • Since December 13th, 2023, Mr. Millar is no longer employed with the Department of Corrections.
  • The Department initiated the deployment of our department-wide body worn camera project at the SPU on July 18, 2023, for all sworn staff.

All individuals involved in the criminal justice system deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and humanity. The alleged actions of Mr. Millar ultimately contributing to or causing the death of Mr. Rothe is completely unacceptable, is contrary to Department of Corrections training, and is not representative of our department or the rest of the Department’s staff. The Department is firm in its stance that people who abuse their authority should face the full prosecution of the law. 

Statement from Commissioner Helen Hanks:

“I personally extend my sympathies to the family and loved ones of Mr. Rothe. The allegations released today are reprehensible and do not align with my expectations of staff, nor do they align to the Department’s mission and responsibilities.”

“The Department prides itself on the dedicated staff that provide exemplary humane care in pursuit of our mission. Everyday New Hampshire Department of Correction’s staff commit themselves to doing difficult work in a challenging environment.”

“As Commissioner, I will always support staff who perform their work with the respect and integrity that it requires. Staff that act outside of the ethical and statutorily prescribed standards of our profession must be held accountable for their actions. I will be unrelenting in holding staff to the high standards expected of them by myself, their peers, the public and the law.”